2BlessingThe groom is led out formally from his flat, accompanied by the bridesmaids. At the exit braidsmaids take the groom’s hands to prevent him from running away. Colleagues or neighbors who are not invited to the wedding, usually prepare "gates". In order to pass the „gate” the testifier must „pay the price” – he bargains with gate keepers and usually gives them a few bottles of alcohol. It is good idea to prepare sweets and cakes for the women and children. The groom rides in the first car of the cavalcade, and usually he is the first who enters his loved one estate. Then, the groom waits in the car until the guests will get out of their cars, and meets with the bride who gives him a pin. The couple greets the guest and go inside to meet their future in-laws. There the couple’s parents give their blessing. On the table prepared for the blessing of the young couple there is a cross, a candlestick, a saucer with Holy Water, and a myrtle. Blessing is given by the parents, and sometimes by the godparents, grandparents and/or the siblings. The parents bless the couple with the sign of the cross, sprinkle the couple with holy water and give them the Holy Cross to kiss.
4In the churchThe young couple come to the church. First to enter the church are the guests. Then, the groom led by his mother and followed by other witnesses enters the church. They wait until the bride enters the church led by her father. The bride and the groom meet near the altar and the mass begins. However, it is more common nowadays that the young couple enters the church together ( a woman must be on the right side of his man!) followed by the testifiers and other witnesses.
6After the massSometimes before exiting the church the couple goes around the altar. Then, they should sit down where they were during the mass and wait until the guests follow them around the altar. Only then, after a short prayer the young couple can exit the church. Remember to walk with a dignity – do not hurry. When exiting the church the couple may be surpised with the heavy rain of the rice and the coins. When outside the church, the couple must set up in such a position to not to interrupt the other possible wedding ceremony. When there is a bad weather outside the guest can wish the young couple during the wedding reception, not outside the church. The young couple gets in the car and awaits until all the guest are able to follow them to the place where wedding reception will take place.
9Visitors first enter the wedding hall and await for the arrival of the Bride and Groom. There, the guests are welcomed by the bride's and the groom’s parents. Then, the newly-weds enter the ball room. At the entrance they are greeted by their parents with bread and salt, and formula spoken to the bride: "What do you prefer: bread, salt, or the groom?" The answer should be: "Bread, salt and groom who will work for it”. After that the young couple share the bread and salt. There is also a tradition that sometimes youn couple is served with two glasses, one with water and the second one with the vodka. Bride and groom choose one and must drink it no matter what. Then, the groom takes his wife over the threshold, and the couple is greeted with „the Mendelssohn's March”.
11After entering the room the champagne is served After entering the room the champagne is served. When all the gathered people have the glasses in their hands the person who conducts weddings welcomes all the guests visitors on behalf of the young couple and invites people to drink the first toast, and start singing Happy Birthday for the Bride and Groom. After the first toast the young couple breaks their glasses, throwing them backwards. Guests take their places. Sometimes the newly weds receive a broom and scoop to clean the broken glass. It should be the groom who sweeps the floor.
13The table of the young couple is more official than the other tables The table of the young couple is more official than the other tables. The testifiers and other witnesses sit near the young couple together with the couple’s parents. After lunch, parents can change their sitting place and allow the couple’s friends sit near. In the beginning of the wedding reception the dinner is served to the guests and the couple. After the first meal, the ball starts. The first dance belongs only to the young couple. During the reception bride and groom should visit all the tables and try to speak to every guest. It is polite and tactful that groom should dance with every lady during the reception. Or at least he should try to do so. Every time the couple hears word „bitter” (Polish „gorzko”) they should kiss. However, it is more fun when they do not hurry to kiss each other and even pretend to blush. Do not forget to thank the parents for their support and help.
15At midnight „oczepiny” take place At midnight „oczepiny” take place. Young couple detach their „attributes” – veil and bow-tie. Groomsmen try to make it more difficult - usually by the gentle spanking of the groom and bride’s hands. Groom’s hands are spanked with spoons, bride’s with flowers. First, the bride throws her veil backwards and then, there is a groom’s turn to throw his bow-tie. According to the custom a person who catches one of these two things will get married soon.
18After the „oczepiny” there is a time for a wedding cake After the „oczepiny” there is a time for a wedding cake. It is obligatory that every wedding should have its wedding cake. The old superstition states that wedding cake will get the young couple „sweet life”. It is served just in the half of the wedding reception. Bride and groom slice it together. The first slice is given to the young couple, then the other people receive their slices, too.